Setting up your road bike is as important as picking the right one. If we neglect to set it up properly, we will not only ride slower but may even end up with some serious health problems. In this episode, we will talk about the most important factors to bear in mind when setting up our bike.


The saddle height should enable the rider to pedal comfortably and in regular circles to ensure the best possible energy transfer. Even a small deviation in the setup can lead to health problems.

  • If the saddle is too high, we overstrain the hamstrings.
  • A low saddle overstrains the quadriceps, which often leads to sore thighs and knees.

Be aware that there are different types of saddles for men and for women as their anatomy is not the same.


Our arms should be at an angle similar to that when we are going to shake someone’s hand. There are many different ways to hold the bars on a road bike.

  1. Gripping the lever hoods is the most frequent way. It offers a good level of safety when riding on a bumpy surface or out of the saddle. The fingers wrapped round the levers are ready to activate the brakes anytime.
  2. Holding the tops comes in handy particularly during long climbs when an aerodynamic position is not required.
  3. When we sprint or ride downhill, the best position is on the drops with a finger placed on the brake levers.
  4. Long straight roads, where we do not need to brake, offer room for holding the bars at the end of the drops.


A time trial bike requires quite a different approach. The hands hold the bars with the elbows resting on the pads. Here the ultimate objective is an aerodynamic position to achieve the least air resistance possible.

Getting the right bike setup is however much more complicated. For this reason, we recommend you visit a professional fitter who can set up your bike on a Retül Fit device, which takes 2 to 3 hours. The result will be that you not only save some precious watts but also avoid possible health problems, which are very likely with a bad bike setup.

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